After a stellar night for the defense against the Ottawa Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning step back onto the ice at Amalie to continue the push towards the playoffs.
TAMPA BAY – Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, four different defensemen put the puck in the net. All six defensemen at least registered a point in that same game. The four goals by four different defensemen is the first time that’s happened in team history.
Setting the pace for the rest of the league
Following their league leading 50th win of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning became only the second time in history to win 50 games in 66 games. The Other team was the 95-96 Detroit Red Wings who ended that season winning 62 games while losing 13. Former Bolt Dino Ciccarelli was apart of that team. While they were a dominant regular season team, they fell short of capturing the Stanley Cup. They lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Colorado Avalanche who had just left Quebec and moved to Denver. That Avalanche team would go on to win the cup that season.
Gourde strikes quick
With not even two minutes gone from the clock, Yanni Gourde would streak into the zone and get a puck past Connor Hellebuyck for a 1-0 early lead, however the lead wouldn’t last too long. With center Cedric Paquette in the box for slashing, Gourde and Anthony Cirelli would attempt to get a two on one shorthanded goal. With Hellebuyck turning aside the puck the Jets would rush up the ice and put a Blake Wheeler power play goal past Andrei Vasilevskiy to tie the game.
Erne’s scoring drought ends
Not since December 29th when he scored two goals in the third period of that game has Adam Erne notched a mark in the goal category on the score sheet. That drought ended tonight in the second period against the Jets. Almost nine minutes into the second Erne got back into the scoring column tallying his seventh goal of the season to take a 2-1 lead. Following a puck to the mask off a Nikita Kucherov shot Hellebuyck exited the game briefly, leading his backup Laurent Brossoit to get ready and take over. Brossoit would only face two shots, but one of those was a Steven Stamkos goal to take a 3-1 lead.
Kucherov ties Lecavalier’s single season mark
Cedric Paquette has the uncanny ability to get under the skin of teams he plays, but it’s not in a dirty way. He tends to pester and play hard night in and night out. Tonight not even five minutes into the third Paquette notched his 10th goal of the season, two away from his career best set in 2014-2015. About four and a half minutes later Kucherov would tie Vincent Lecavalier’s single season point record at 108. With the Chicago Blackhawks not playing tonight, Kucherov will end the night with a 14 point lead in the point standings for the Art Ross trophy. Another guy who is leading the NHL in a category, Brayden Point notched his 37th goal of the season off of the assist from Kucherov that gave the Lightning a 5-1 lead.
Winnipeg wouldn’t go quietly into the night down 5-1. With the Jets heading into the offense zone Jacob Trouba would bounce the puck off the boards, Vasilevskiy expecting the puck to go behind the net came out of the crease. The puck would never end up behind the net, instead as it bounced off and Vasilevskiy came out, the puck would go straight into the net to cut the score to 5-2. That score would hold as the final moments ticked off the clock.
The Bolts will welcome in the Minnesota Wild on Thursday March 7th at 7pm.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd Star – Steven Stamkos: A goal and an assist tonight for the captain.
2nd Star – Nikita Kucherov: Notched two assists to tie Lecavalier with 108 points.
1st Star – Adam Erne: Broke his scoreless drought with a goal and an assist tonight.
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